Episode 181 – GM May Change Logo, Hyundai LPG Hybrid, Pontiac Solstice Coupe

July 9th, 2009 at 12:00pm

Runtime 8:25

General Motors is considering changing the color of its logo from blue to green, once it emerges from bankruptcy. Hyundai launched its first-ever hybrid vehicle in South Korea, that runs on liquefied petroleum-gas. All that and more, plus a test drive of the Pontiac Solstice coupe.

Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

Here are today’s top headlines. GM could turn its logo from blue to green. Hyundai launches an LPG hybrid. And a test drive of the Pontiac Solstice coupe.

Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.

This is Autoline Daily for Thursday, July 9, 2009. And now, the news.

GM could emerge from bankruptcy far sooner than most people thought possible. But once it does, the Associated Press reports that more cuts could be on the way. Another 4,000 white collar employees could be let go, including one out of three of the top 1,300 executives in the company. GM is also considering changing the logo of the company, and may even change the color of its logo from blue to green.

When Chrysler was in chapter 11 the court determined it would not have to face liability claims for products sold before it filed bankruptcy. Now, consumer advocacy groups are sounding the alarm. According to Automotive News, five organizations want to put warning labels on used Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles alerting consumers they will not be able to sue the company if there’s something wrong with the car.

Hyundai launched its first-ever hybrid (subscription required) vehicle in South Korea. Ward’s reports that the Elantra LPI runs on liquefied petroleum-gas, and features lithium-ion polymer batteries. Fuel economy is rated at 41.9 mpg, or 5.6 L/100 km. Starting price is about $16,000.

Yesterday billionaire oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens scrapped his ambitious plans for a wind farm in the Texas panhandle. But on the same day he also unveiled a bill with several U.S. Senators to help sell natural gas vehicles. According to the Detroit News, the proposal would increase tax credits for buying natural gas vehicles to $12,500, increase grants for creating natural gas stations and also boost grants for light- and heavy-duty engine development.

Volvo introduced six hybrid double-decker busses in London. The strong diesel hybrids busses are expected to reduce fuel consumption by over a third and cut CO2 emissions nearly in half.

Coming up next, a look at the Pontiac Solstice Coupe, we’ll be back right after this.

I just got a chance to test drive the Pontiac Solstice Coupe, take a look at what this car is all about.

The Solstice coupe has a base price of just over $30,000. The one I got to test drive was priced at just over $33,000. Like I said, they’re only going to build about 1,000 of them, meaning that thing is going to be an instant collector’s item.

And that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry. But don’t forget, join us tonight for Autoline After Hours, the only live webcast that discusses everything and anything about cars and the industry that makes them. Again, the show goes live tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern, or 2300 GMT on our website. Don’t miss it.

Anyway, that’s it for now. We’ll see you tonight.

19 Comments to “Episode 181 – GM May Change Logo, Hyundai LPG Hybrid, Pontiac Solstice Coupe”

  1. pedro Fernandez Says:

    John, here you go again, testing a doomed car, I’m sorry but I just don’t get it. How does GM expect to sell cars with this direct injection engine that makes that ticking noise, do they think people are deaf or stupid? I for one would walk away from a car that makes any type of noise like that. I expect that from my 12 yr old 300k mile Corolla, but not a new car. Why don’t they fix these problems before making the car available, These people are doomed to fail.

  2. Don B. Says:

    John, do you think that GM was trying to make a Cheetah cone when they built the Solstice Coupe?
    Did you get to pull off the hard top?
    Does it come with a rag top insert,since you can’t store the roof panel in the car?
    I’m very much tempted to buy one but I don’t have anything to trade in under the CARS program.

  3. Len Simpson Says:

    If Solstice had been a hatchback (no ttops) from day one. Pontiac would not now be history.
    The rolling chassis is a work of art.

  4. Dave Says:

    If we run more and more cars and trucks on nat. gas…..how much will is cost to heat my home???

    The ticking noise was very bad with the DI motor. GM has that DI on alot of other vehicles do they all have that type of noise?

  5. Chuck Grenci Says:

    John,
    So I saw your review of the Pontiac Solstice (and classic or not) don’t you think the car needs to be resurrected under another badge and stay in the line-up?

  6. Bill Tomczyk Says:

    John, where did you get such a cool shirt?

  7. Salvador G. Says:

    John Mc. Why doesn’t GM sells the Solstice as a solo brand?, nevermind Pontiac.

    As for the logo…
    This is SPEEDRACER hearing the news (Bear with me people)… HHAA GM change its color to green not blue – HA HA – Now its gonna be green not longer blue but still the same GM with a green logo OH- HA HA.

  8. Pete SK Says:

    John,

    Here we go again, GM changing the logo to green…who cares? Be considered a green company because people say you are not because you change the color of the logo. They will be diluting the “brand” by changing the logo so that does not even make sense. By the way, should we not care about the brands namely Cadillac, Buick, GMC, Chevrolet? What’s with the corporate ego and the GM logo? they need to keep marketing the cars, not the company! another sign that they have not changed enough and continued on their doomed path of arrogance

  9. Tony Gray Says:

    I thought I had a crack in my LCD screen, but no, it was just the antenna on that Solstice Coupe. Whew.

  10. Ralph Kercheval Says:

    So….GM is changing the color of the logo!!
    After the big stink about the GAY CAMARO COMMERCIAL(see Autoblog.com ) maybe they should go with rainbow instead of green.. Just a thought….

  11. Dan Clemons Says:

    That ticking noise sounds like the GM clock is ticking down on the company. You can sure see why GM has lost their way. There was a time when GM could turn scrap iron into gold. Will bankruptcy save GM? Not if they are making cars like that.

  12. naif Says:

    1 of 3 exec’s may be let go? the company has been cut at least in half so at least half the exec’s need to go also if not more. these are the people that put GM where it is at.

    and do not change the color of the logo, leave it blue. green will not prove a thing.
    the exec’s still do not get it do they!!!

  13. R. Rufty Says:

    So the billions of dollars the taxpayers were forced to ante up to save, what is now, Government Motors (unions) didn’t stop the layoffs? I don’t understand, obamamamam told us the money was to save GM which appears to still be going down the toilet. Now what? I would not by a gm product and I hope no one else will.

  14. Eric Soto Says:

    John, maybe you might be the man to ultimately convince the new owner of Saturn to aquire the G8 and Soltice of its potencial,plus he has the brain,balls and money to back it up!

  15. Eric Soto Says:

    John, maybe you might be the man to ultimately convince the new owner of Saturn to aquire the G8 and Soltice and study its potencial,plus he has the brain,balls and money to back it up!

  16. Chuck Says:

    Eric, I really like your idea of the G8 and Soltice staying with Saturn. I would have one of each and trade in the Grand Prix GT we now have.

  17. J Hamilton Says:

    Guys,
    I have an HHR “SS” which has the same powertrain as the Solstice GXP and yeah it does have a little tick (I notice that the Solstice
    doesn’t have a full motor cover like my Chevy version so maybe it needs a bit more insulation). However the motor is fabulous ! It leaves GTI’s, Speed 3′s even 350Z’s(haven’t had an oportunity to try a 370 yet) for dead on straights (and that’s without the Stage II kit which adds 40HP and 80ft/lbs of torque!!) and can hang in with them in the twisties and still gets 8 litres/100Km or about 35 miles to a real gallon, 28 per to your gal – I love it !!
    You guys have gotta get out there and drive these products you’re so quick to write off !! On 2nd thought just sit there in your Jap. SUV’s wasting gas and let people who still know how to have fun go by !!
    John, I love heel n’toeing too and yes, my “SS” requires some extreme foot contortions to get down to 2nd, still haven’t mastered the 2nd to 1st shift yet ! I can blip or brake but so far not both !
    GM’s logo to green – ahh, the colour of money ! At least in the USA !! We have nice multi-coloured bills to make up for them not being worth as much !
    I think green is appropriate, it’ll remind us that the cars we drive have gotta be efficient, FUN but making best use of every fume !

  18. Ed Kemmerer Says:

    The change to a green logo is nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic that is GM. Time to come up with an utterly worthless tag line too, to go along with the new logo color, maybe something like “Give us a try, we’re really not as bad as we used to be”. Those high ranking execs have to justify their inflated salaries and worthless existence somehow.

  19. pedro Fernandez Says:

    Re #17. Yeah, good idea,add more sound insulation to the engine instead of trying to isolate and fix whatever is causing the noise. The original Lexus LS is quiet not so much due to sound insulation, but because of sound engineering, after 15 and more years on the road , the’re still as silent as they were when brand new.